Confused about the features you need in your call center software? Finding it difficult to narrow down options that fit your needs? Getting a software solution that strikes a balance between your business requirements and your budget is no easy task.
To determine whether a software solution is a good match for your business, it's important to examine the features offered and how they impact your business. For example, if call management is a consistent concern for your business, keep an eye out for features such as callback scheduling, call list management, call routing, call scripting, and auto dialing.
In this features guide, we have listed the most common functionalities of call center software to assist you in purchasing a solution that fits your unique needs.
The lists below present the features offered by each functionality alongside the benefits they provide to your call center team. Let's begin with an analysis of the core functionality present in call center software.
|Call management||Helps customer care managers distribute, monitor, and manage call volumes through call scheduling, call list management, routing, and scripting.|
|Call analysis||Analyzes calls through call disposition, recording, reporting, and tracking in the interest of monitoring call quality and performance of calling agents.|
|Dialing||Enables calling agents to dial in customer numbers for outbound sales or information calls through an auto-dialer, a predictive dialer, and progressive dialing.|
|Analytics and reporting||Provides an overview of all calls conducted by your calling agents through an activity dashboard, real-time analytics, and performance monitoring.|
|Integrations||Helps connect the call center software with other software tools with specialized functionality, such as email, CRM, data import, and text messaging.|
|Additional features||Some systems offer more features specific to call center software, such as chat, conferencing, and automatic call distribution.|
Now let's break down each of the above functionality into the features that surround it and the benefits they offer.
Call center software helps you automate the process of resolving customer queries through call routing, scripting, transferring, and list management. Instead of manual records, the software keeps a log of customer queries and the time taken to resolve those queries. You can also maintain a list of prospective customers acquired from your sales team and make outbound calls to only those customers to increase leads via call list management.
Listed below are some call management features you should consider while purchasing call center software:
|Callback scheduling||Schedules a call for a later date to resolve a customer's query or deliver information about a product or service.|
|Call list management||A list of contacts with details such as name, occupation, and telephone number. These details are distributed evenly among agents that call prospective buyers.|
|Call routing||A tool that directs calls to service desk agents based on predefined criteria.|
|Call scripting||Predefined templates for agent conversations, which offer designed workflows in which agents feed information directly into the software as they respond.|
|Call transfer||Helps in transferring calls from IVR to a service desk agent by dialing a feature code. The call is transferred in case a query is too complex or the customer is not satisfied with the response of IVR.|
|Caller ID||A tool that flashes the name and number of the caller on the agent's computer screen before he/she receives the call.|
|Voicemail||Allows callers to store a voice message in the receiver's phone when the receiver is unable to answer a call.|
How do you monitor call quality? What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your calling agents that you should keep in mind while rating their performance? If these questions are largely unanswered, then you should be looking for call analysis features such as call monitoring, disposition, and recording. Software can help you identify gaps in your call quality through call tracking, and these gaps can be rectified by training your agents on recurring quality issues.
Here are some call analysis features that your call center software should have in order to maintain call quality:
|Call disposition||Describes the outcome of a call. Tracking and storing call outcomes provide valuable intelligence and help teams optimize call center operations.|
|Call monitoring||This feature helps call centers maintain call quality. Each call can be monitored by the quality assurance team to improve quality.|
|Call recording||Calls made or received by agents are recorded for training and quality purposes.|
|Call reporting||Reports can be generated based on crucial KPIs, which can include abandonment rate and agent wrap time. Advanced reporting captures performance at the agent level as well as tracks organization-level metrics. Universally found in call center software suites.|
|Call tracking||Functionality used by marketers to assess marketing and sales campaigns and measure the value of incoming calls driven by their marketing efforts.|
Handling back-to-back calls during peak call volume times can be a daunting task for your calling agents, especially when they're responsible for dialing in countless customer numbers, one after another. This can be a repetitive and error-prone process, but call center software helps automate the process of dialing through an auto-dialer, predictive dialer, and progressive dialer. With the help of these features, your agents can focus more on resolving queries than dialing in, which can improve the customer call resolution rate.
Some of the key dialing features to consider while buying call center software are as follows:
|Auto-dialer||Automatically dial a number from call lists using computer software and transfer the call to an agent when it is answered.|
|Predictive dialer||An outbound calling system that automatically calls phone numbers pulled from call lists. Predictive dialer screens out no-answers, busy signals, and disconnected numbers.|
|Progressive dialing||An automated dialing technique that presents contact information to the call center agent prior to dialing a phone number.|
Call center software helps you visualize key metrics such as call volume per hour, idle agents, and call wait time, all from a single dashboard. The dashboard can feature performance reports, real-time analytics, and other reporting features that help you keep track of customer queries, agent performance, call resolution, and more.
While purchasing call center software, consider the following analytics and reporting features:
|Activity dashboard||Presents a visual overview of key dimensions and metrics. Dashboards display the number of calls made by call center agents, calls converted into sales, and average time consumed.|
|Performance reports||Provides details on team and individual performance. These reports are based on the revenue generated by each call center agent and the cost incurred for marketing and sales.|
|Real-time analytics||Presents charts and graphs in real time based on the number of calls converted, number of leads exhausted, and total sales in a day or week.|
|Real-time reporting||Allows managers to generate reports, monitor trends, and analyze performance of call center agents in real time.|
Would you like more business integration to your call center software to enhance customer relationship management (CRM)? Integrations help your software offer more services to enhance overall functionality. For example, if you use finance software such QuickBooks, then you don't have to opt for extra features related to finance management as long as your call center software can integrate with QuickBooks.
Here's a list of integration features that are often available for call center software.
|APIs||Provides a set of tools to build applications that can integrate with call center software in order to improve the user experience.|
|CRM integration||Enables call center software to integrate with specialized CRM software to understand customer buying behavior by analyzing past purchases. Also offers lead tracking and lead prioritization.|
|Data import||Imports leads into the call center solution from CRM, spreadsheets, and other databases.|
|Email integration||Enables call center software to integrate with specialized email software to interact with customers through an email-based customer care portal.|
|SMS integration||Enables call center software to integrate with specialized SMS software to interact with customers through text messages.|
Unlike integrations, additional features refer to add-ons that can be added to the current package of your call center software. Features such as automatic call distribution, chat, and conferencing can help you resolve customer queries faster and manage your call agents. Additional features are not always a part of the base package, but they are something to look out for in case you have additional needs or anticipate growth that will result in more advanced functionality becoming necessary.
Listed below are additional features you can opt for in call center software.
|Automatic call distribution||Distributes incoming calls between service desk agents to ensure optimum utilization of all agents, meaning no agent is overburdened or left idle.|
|Chat functionality||Enables agents to communicate with customers via a chat-based interface.|
|Computer telephony||Utilizes computers to manage telephone calls. The computerized service of call centers directs a customer's phone call to a service desk agent.|
|Conferencing||Allows agents to have video conferences with customers in order to resolve customer queries. Agents can attend these meetings or conferences from remote locations using their phone or computer system.|
This call center software features guide should provide a broader perspective of the essential features that you would need while considering a software purchase. Here are some handy GetApp resources to help you further with your selection:
Compare the top software solutions in our Category Leaders ranking of call center software.
Read independent user reviews of call center software.
Visit our call center software directory to choose a solution that fits your business requirements.